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US Basque clubs renew their commitment to Euskera at NABO’s meeting held in San Francisco


NABO's Basque teacher workshop celebrated in San Francisco (photo IKortazar)
NABO's Basque teacher workshop celebrated in San Francisco (photo IKortazar)


San Francisco’s Basque Cultural Center celebrated its 30th anniversary on the weekend of February 17th along with a broad representation of the US Basque community. NABO’s first meeting of the year also took place on the same weekend, as well as a workshop for Basque teachers in US and Canadian clubs. NABO renewed its commitment to the Basque language and its intention to promote it through offering courses at various Basque clubs. According to HABE, over the last three years the number of Basque students in both countries has doubled.

San Francisco, CAlifornia, USA.  Basques from the US and Canada got together in San Francisco on February 17-19th to celebrate the 30 years of existence of the Basque Cultural Center.  At the same time, they took advantage of the occasion to carry out an extensive work program that included the first NABO meeting of the year, as well as a workshop for Basque teachers that pertain to NABO.

The NABO meeting took place on Saturday February 18th and was attended by Basque club delegates from both the US and Canada; Benan Oregi, Basque Government representative, and Kinku Zinkunegi, coordinator of HABE’s Euskara Munduan program. Oregi presented the results of the last World Congress of Basque Collectivities celebrated in November in Donostia as well informing those present about the agreement of collaboration that was to be signed by Euskadi and Idaho the Monday after this get together. 

Basque was well represented during the meeting beginning with the presentation by Izaskun Kortazar, NABO’s Euskera coordinator, who explained the activities that have taken place since the last NABO meeting, as well as future projects.  Afterwards, Kinku Zinkunegi, gave a presentation on the current situation of the Basque language in the Basque Country as well as providing information on the Euskara Munduan program.  Finally, Martin Goikoetxea, NABO’s Euskara chair, reminded those present of the importance of Basque language classes at the club level and stressed the importance of involving the whole community in Basque language recovery.

Teachers’ workshop

US Basque teachers also took advantage of the weekend to get together for a workshop presented by Izaskun Kortazar, Itxaso Cayero and Kinku Zinkunegi.  During the workshop teachers learned about different teaching techniques and activities in order to improve their classes and make them more dynamic.  “There were ten teachers in all: Aitzol and Imanol from New York, Gorka from Rhode Island, Anita from Elko, Gloria from Homedale, Goisalde from Mountain Home, Itxaso and I from Boise, Unai from Bakersfield and Aitor from San Francisco,” Izakun explained to

SF NABO irakasleak

[Teachers learned games and activities to later use in their classes (photo IKortazar)]

During the workshop teachers learned games and exercises to boost and improve their classes, and also had the opportunity to share their experiences and difficulties with each other.  They also discussed the BOGA method to learn on-line and Kinku Zinkunegi also provided some tips for using this technology more adequately.  “The workshop was a really good opportunity to meet the new teachers as well as reflect on their classes,” Kortazar added.

It is worth noting that during the last three years the number of students learning Basque in the US has doubled, according to sources at HABE.  “Today there are 33 adults enrolled under 12 professors, with an additional 16 teachers being trained.  Trainees follow courses on-line as well as attend a barnetegi once a year.  This year’s barnetegi will take place on June 9-16th,” Zinkunegi said.  



  • Learning Basque

    I wish there was someone close to my home (near Santa Rosa) that could help me with Euskera classes. BOGA was just too difficult for me. Keep up the good work

    Mark Molina, 03/06/2012 23:06

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